Why do we use Polybloks for the construction of Pool Walls?

The Options for Pool Tank Construction are:



Fibreglass pools are the lowest cost option. They are a cheap and cheerful solution and a top quality type made in an environmentally controlled environment will normally last at least 10 years. Poor quality fibreglass pools can be covered in black spots where the gel cost has failed with a year or so after installation. They are never used for an indoor pool because the high capital cost of the pool hall and equipment justifies the installation of a better quality pool tank.



There are literally hundreds of different types of panel pool kits available across Europe and they are all a complete waste of money.
They are aimed at the DIY market but are useless because in the majority of cases they are more difficult to install properly than a concrete pool. They all share one unique drawback - none of them are founded on a reinforced concrete slab that holds the walls rigidly in position. As a result if a panel pool ever has to be emptied it will probably collapse! They are never used for an indoor pool for the same reason as fibreglass pools.



Top quality wooden pool kits that incorporate a reinforced concrete base slab are very good value for money and can be installed either above ground, part in-ground or wholly inground. The Weva range are good value for money.


See https://www.thewoodenpoolstore.co.uk/



Stainless steel tanks are a very expensive solution. The specialist suppliers also add ridiculous profit margins that are never justified. If a stainless steel finish is required the best way to do it is to use stainless steel panels on the face of a reinforced concrete tank. Bluepools can design a pool using this approach.




It is important to understand that there is a fundamental difference between the concrete specification recquired for a tiled pool and that for a liner pool.



A tiled pool must have a reinforced concrete box designed to the concrete water retaining Code BS8007 or the European standard equivalent. The same volume of concrete is required but about 4 times more reinforcement will be need to make sure that tank does not have any cracks in the concrete that will effect the waterproofing or the tiles. Even with all the extra reinforcement a two coat special waterproofing layer is also needed because the tiling itself is not waterproof. In effect the tiling provides a surface that is easy to keep clean and at the same time protects the special waterproofing layer from being damaged.



A vinyl liner pool relies on the liner to provide the waterproofing and because the liner will easily stretch over any cracks the concrete can be designed to BS110 or the European standard equivalent. The same volume of concrete is required but a lot less reinforcement will be needed - making the walls much easier and quicker to build. The liner is also easy to clean.



Concrete pool tanks are currently built using the following methods:

1) Reinforced concrete walls using timber shuttering systems

This involves the temporary installation of heavy reinforced plywood panels or steel forms that retain the wet concrete until it cures and gains strength.

2) Reinforced concrete walls formed using shotcrete or gunnite

Shotcrete is formed by taking very wet concrete from a truck mixer to an applicastion gun where compressed air is used to "fire" the concrete at a timber form that is placed behind the reinforcement.

Gunite is similar but sand, cement and water are mixed together at the gun and fired at the timber forms. Normally Shotecrete is used because it is cheaper if there is a local ready mixed concrete plant.

3) Concrete Block Walls with reinforcement

Historically this was the most common type of construction but it has fallen out of favour recently because of the frequency of structural failure and the necessity to render the walls. The rendering is a time consuming and costly process.


The main problem with all three of the above methods is that they require costly specialist equipment and even more costly skilled operatives.

This is where "Polybloks" enter the picture.




Polybloks are ICF (Insulated Concrete Forms) that are very light and fit together like Legobricks. They form a hollow wall and when the hollow is filled with concrete and reinforcement it forms an insulated wall of enourmous strength.

Will Witt the CEO of Bluepools built his first pool in France in 2003 using French Polybloks. The process was so quick and simple that every pool that he has built or designed since then (100 +) has been built in Polybloks.

There are several different products in Frence that can be used and they are very different in quality. The cheaper blocks in France such as those provided by Cash Piscines are made from low density polystyrene and are very prone to split apart as the concrete is poured. On the other hand the blocks provided by Ascomat are made from much denser polystyrene and provide terrific swimming pool walls. See http://www.virginia-piscines.com/votre-piscine/piscine-standard. There is another make available in the UK called Blokit - these are made in France but the polystyrene is not as strong as that used by Ascomat - and there are other issues with the kits that they provide - they are very expensive for a start!


The Bluepools Polybloks

Bluepools uses a special Polyblok that is manufactured in the UK and has many intrinsic advantages as follows:-


1) They have an Agrément Certificate that means that all the Building Control Officers will accept them for pool walls

2) They can be used to build the basement and pool hall walls as well as the actual pool

3) Pool tanks using Polybloks can be tiled or fitted with a vinyl liner

4) They are 1200 x 600 and can be 280mm or 330mm wide - see below for the importance of this

5) The polystyrene leaves are 65mm thick and this provides 130mm of dense polystyrene insulation - more than is required by the Building Regulations

6) They have special steel inserts that allow finishes to be fixed to either side of the wall

7) The concrete wall that is formed inside the Polybloks is much stronger than a wall formed with wooden shutters because the concrete cures (dries out and strengthens) much more slowly inside the polystyrene skin

8) And last but not least! - they are easily the fastest and cheapest way to build pool tanks and retaining walls because expensive specialists and equipment are not required on the site!


Polybloks can be used for tiled or vinyl liner pools

The amount of steel reinforcement required for a tiled pool is so high that it is difficult to fit it all in the 150mm wall that is formed in a a 280mm wide Polyblok.

But it will easily fit inside the 200mm wall that is formed inside a 330mm Polyblok.

It can also be necessary to use the 330mm Polybloks in the construction of deep basements.

When Polybloks are used for the installation of a tiled pool the internal face has to be covered with a special two coat render that the tiles can be stuck onto.


The Bluepools Polybloks look like this - click on thumbnail for a bigger image:-


Wall corner polybloks

polyblok pic

Straight polybloks


polyblok pic


Pool and Spa built in Polybloks

polyblok pool and spa

Heavily reinforced polyblok pool wall

heavily reinforced polyblok pool wallheavily reinforced pool wall

Polyblok basement wall

polyblok basement wall

Tiled Polyblok Pool


Bluepools has recently undertaken several projects where tiles have been used on a Polyblok wall. This exciting new technology is now available in the UK.

See Tiled Pool and Spa using Polybloks